The Summer of 2020 saw unprecedented, at least in contemporary times – outpouring of anger, fear, and support to put an end to structural racism in the US. The catalyst for this long-simmering issue was the murder of George Floyd. Floyd’s murder was followed soon by note of other recent deaths of people of color who were not doing anything wrong – Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, GA; Tony McDade in Tallahassee, FL; Dion Johnson in Phoenix, AZ; Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY.
It is impossible to be aware of what is happening around the country and even here in Pensacola and not give you an opportunity to share your thoughts in this course. I thought it would be appropriate here, also, to include the vandalized version of the mural, highlighting George Floyd’s death.
In order to take an in-depth look at racism, particularly structural racism in the US, go to this page: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/08/understanding-racism-inequality-america/?arc404=true (Links to an external site.)
The Washington Post has done a very comprehensive review of historical and contemporary studies and exploration. I have also included a report from Pew Research that captures opinions on racism and a couple of other articles that relate to this topic as well.
Address these questions and add any of your own thoughts as well.
(1) We have seen a struggle for/movement toward and away from civil rights in the US during and since the time when people of color were enslaved. Is this time different? Yes, No, & why?
(2) Think of or find some of the changes that companies, sports organizations and other groups (include symbolic changes) have been made since the killing of George Floyd. Describe the change and specific motivations for those changes.
(3) In the months since George Floyd’s death there has also been “pushback” from those who either do not want to address systemic racism, or who feel there is not need to address systemic racism. How would you explain this?
(4) Explain or describe what you have learned in the past 6 months about structural or systemic racism in the US? If your answer is ‘nothing’, please explain.